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I was asked by the Youth Hockey Panel to report any hockey event held in Uruguay that I found important for the sport’s development and promotion.

I play at the Yacht Club and I find exchenges very important to encourage people to play hockey and for the development of the sport.

We had the pleasure of receiving the Argentinean team from El Chaco in July. We were told that they didn’t have an astro turf field and they were more than happy to come and play against us.

On Thursday afternoon they arrived at the club, and almost immediately they were on the field to play a welcoming match.

El Chaco came with two teams, their first division and the junior team. We got to know each other a little bit after the match but they were really tired from the trip and decided to return to their rooms.

On the Friday, they had the whole day for themselves, to go out and get to know Montevideo and in the afternoon we played for a couple more hours.

On Saturday we got together at the club to have a barbecue with the girls. We put on some music, and decorated the place with many pictures and flags. It was finally then that we could really talk and get to know each other. At the end of the night, the El Chaco coach gave a speech, promising to keep in touch and return as soon as they found possible.

On Sunday a tournament was organised in their honour with the national Under 17 team and five Uruguayan Teams.

The Old Girls Club, Saint Patrick’s School, the Yacht Club, Christian Brothers School and Nautico. It was a great sunny day for hockey and we played all day. Afterwards, the girls from El Chaco had to leave but not before we said our goodbyes and appreciations and exchanged souvenirs.

This experience was extremely rewarding for both of us. Uruguayan hockey consists of a very small amount of teams, and by inviting teams from abroad helps us develop and grow as field hockey players. At the same time we give the opportunity to other teams to play on astro turf fields, getting one step closer to a more modern kind of hockey.

We are open to receiving teams from anywhere in our facilities at the Yacht Club, hoping these exchanges continue in the future.

Mercedes Lerena

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